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Choosing the Right Sized Racket

By: Rachel Newcombe - Updated: 1 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
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Whether you’re a complete beginner, or you’ve been playing for a while, using the right sized tennis racket will improve your performance and make a difference to your game. But how do you know which size of racket is right for you?

At first glance, thinking about rackets may seem like a simple issue, but in reality rackets differ considerably and you need to get the right size of racket to suit your tennis ability. The right sized racket depends on several factors, as well as your sporting ability, and these include weight, length, head size and grip.

Racket Weight and Length

The weight and length of rackets varies and knowing which weight and length to buy depends on your ability at playing tennis. Although it may seem odd at first, a heavy racket is generally far better for beginners as it’s strong, powerful and won’t cause so much shock to be thrown back through the arms and hands when you hit a ball. Most beginners rackets weight at least 11 ounces.

For more experienced tennis players, the mid-weight rackets provide more control for playing shots and allow players faster swing action. These mid-weight rackets tend to weigh about 9.8 ounces to 10.9 ounces. For the very experienced, the lightest rackets are just the ticket, weighing in at an average of 9 ounces to 9.4 ounces.

The length of tennis rackets varies too, and they’re dependent on your age and height - rackets for children, for example, are the shortest in length, measuring on average, from 23 inches to 25 inches. The standard size for adult tennis rackets is about 27 inches long, although there are some variations in size available if required.

Racket Head Size

Just as crucial as getting the right length and weight of tennis racket is getting the right head size. This is the part of the racket that you’ll use to hit the ball and the size of it will influence your ability to provide powerful shots.

The size of tennis racket heads are generally measured in inches squared. The larger sizes of racket head, measuring about 107 to 135 sq. inches are most suitable for beginners, as they provide a stable environment for hitting shots. More advanced tennis players, tend to go for rackets in the 85 to 104 sq inches range.

If you’re not sure exactly what racket head size you need, be guided by any tennis instructors or experts at a tennis equipment shop.

Racket Grip

When you hear talk of the racket grip, this means the handle of the racket. It’s an important part of getting the right size and fit of racket, as if it doesn’t fit well in your hand and doesn’t feel comfortable, it will effect your performance when you’re out on the court and playing tennis. And if it’s a really badly fitting grip, it could also lead to health problems such as tennis elbow.

Specialist tennis shops will be able to advise on the size of grip you need and will be able to help measure your hands to work this out.

Other Issues

Depending on your level of ability, there are other issues to consider too when choosing the right sized racket. Some rackets are more flexible than others, which is particularly welcomed by the more experienced players. Beginners usually benefit from having a stiff racket, as they won’t need to put so much power into how they swing the racket and it’s easier to control.

A tennis racket is a crucial part of your equipment, so do give your purchase plenty of thought. Where possible, have a trial run with the racket, so you know exactly how it feels to play tennis with it and whether it’s suitable for your size and ability. All good specialist sports and tennis shops should allow this.

Finally, once you’ve found your perfect racket, it’s time to head out to the court and start enjoying using it!

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